A new crime diversion program for Canberra’s high-risk young offenders

A new full time crime diversion program for some of Canberra’s recidivist young offenders is set to reduce crime and positively reengage at-risk youth when a pilot begins at the end of April.

Launched by the Deputy Chief Minister Simon Corbell MLA at ACT Policing Headquarters today, the ‘Intensive Diversion Program’ developed by Canberra Police Community Youth Club Inc. (Canberra PCYC) will target young people committing property offences in the ACT and who are engaged with the Child and Youth Protection Service. “We have a unique role among community sector organisations in supporting some of Canberra’s most vulnerable young people, and the Intensive Diversion Program reflects our deep understanding of the issues behind youth offending” said Canberra PCYC President David McLean. The ‘Intensive Diversion Program’ will engage young offenders on a full time basis, providing evidence-based aggression therapy, reengagement with education or vocation, job placements and intensive case management with the participant and their family.

This program is a new approach to crime diversion in the ACT that brings together the Child and Youth Protection Service, ACT Policing and Canberra PCYC to oversee and monitor the progress of participants. Mr McLean praised this joint approach as “reflecting the continuing evolution of Canberra PCYC to reflect the needs and priorities of our stakeholders.”

The ‘Intensive Diversion Program’ will complement the suite of crime diversion programs currently provided by Canberra PCYC and this pilot is funded through the ACT Policing contribution to the Canberra PCYC. The relationship between the Australian Federal Police and Canberra PCYC in successfully diverting young people away from crime in the community has been ongoing for over fifty years, and Chief Police Officer Assistant Commissioner Rudi Lammers today welcomed the pilot. “The program will be intensive, it will be challenging and it will be demanding. But most of all, it will be rewarding, for the participant, for their family, and for the whole community,” Mr Lammers said.
“ We have a long connection with ACT Policing and the Canberra community, and with the Intensive Diversion Program we will continue to build positive futures for another generation of Canberrans” said Canberra PCYC President, David McLean today.